The Benefits Of Liquid Smoke
The Benefits Of Liquid Smoke
What’s better than succulent, fall-off-the bone ribs with that mesquite flavour? Or a smoky barbecue sauce drizzled all over that charred chicken leg? What about a mango-and-hickory glaze on your next sizzling pork chop?
Traditionally, food was smoked as a way to preserve it in order for it to last longer. Today, we crave that flavour as an added element to a delicious meal.
If you don’t have a smoker, obtaining that smoky goodness during backyard barbecues probably seems like a tall order. Fortunately, it’s not—you’re actually only a small bottle of liquid smoke away from achieving this culinary greatness. And in less than half the time!
What Is Liquid Smoke?
It’s actually pretty simple—liquid smoke is that smoky barbecue taste but in liquid form. It’s made from actual smoke; chips or sawdust from wood are burned at high heat. The particles from the resulting smoke are then collected in condensers, which results in a liquid containing a very strong smoke flavour.
Is It Safe?
If you don’t have a smoker, liquid smoke is one of few viable options to achieve that smoky flavour—and we don’t exactly recommend hosting an indoor flame fest for obvious safety reasons. But there has been a lot of controversy from foodies about whether liquid smoke is something they should use in their own kitchens. While it can add a great boost to your barbecue sauce there is a fear that it is chemically made and processed. Not so if you buy the natural kind. Check the ingredient list to make sure there are no added chemicals or ingredients like soy, vinegar or corn syrup. You want to stick to the basics, such as natural smoke flavour, molasses and caramel colour. If you can find some without the caramel colour, consider it an added bonus.
What's The Nutritional Content?
There really isn’t one. A teaspoon of the stuff costs you zero calories, cholesterol or fat, but it also doesn’t have any fiber, minerals or vitamins.
How Do You Use It?
The good news is that a little goes a long way and a mere drop or two is all your sauce needs to give it that kick (take a whiff of an open bottle and you’ll see what we mean). Even though liquid smoke serves a very specific purpose—adding a smoky flavour to your food—you can use it in a bunch of different ways. Get creative with your next marinade, dressing or sauce and experiment with the different liquid smoke flavours out there, too.
Where Do You Buy It?
Any plain old grocery store will sell these bottles. Look for it on the shelf along with other pantry sauces like Worcestershire, bottled marinades and hot sauces. It will only run you a few bucks, and last a long while in your cupboards. Unless of course you decide to start having smoked foods all week long; we wouldn’t blame you—the warm weather will only be here for so long!
Any Specific Recipes To Recommend?
Well, aside from this Bourbon Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce, which is delicious on everything from chicken to tofu to steak, you could always add a bit to some slow cooked baked beans. You could also attempt an at-home version of smoked salmon, a simple brisket, or a smoky soup. Want to start slow? We definitely recommend these homemade Smoked Almonds with Sea Salt, which make the perfect on-the-go snack.